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Rwanda Girls Initiative received a $16,000 grant from the Why Not You Foundation. This gift was one of only three grants awarded at this time. The Why Not You Foundation was launched in 2014 by Seattle Seahawk, Russell Wilson, and is dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today's youth to be tomorrow's leaders.

Ciara, GRAMMY Award winning singer/songwriter, joined Russell, her husband on the board of directors and brings the focus on supporting programs like RGI that directly empower girls and young women locally, nationally and globally. Ciara recently shared, "Every girl and young woman should have the opportunity to grow in a healthy and positive way with access to education and empowerment skills needed to be successful."

A huge thank you to the entire Why Not You Foundation board for believing in the power of educating girls!

Having the courage to compete, Gashora Girl, sophomore Bera Marie, emerged as 3rd place winner in the Teen Media Expo 2017 International competition in the category of poetry.

Of the top three winners, she is the only African. Bera Maria said, "This competition increased my self-esteem; I never thought I would scoop the third position in a global competition!"

Read her poem:

Rusa Divine was recently named as the Regional Advisor for Africa at the International Federation of Medical Student Association (IFMSA). The IFMSA is the largest student led organization in the world where medical students around the world meet to discuss, learn and grow. For the next year, Rusa will be heading the African department, working with internationals from the 5 world regions, in work with Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV/AIDS (SCORA). She will working with country officials in SCORA and helping to build the capacity in the region by initiating regional activities and training's. We are so proud of her work to help make a difference in her country and all of Africa.

Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology were the winners of the 2017 African Debate Championship, held in Uganda this year! This is a competition normally dominated by boys.

The team of three won the championship, with Natasha Teta Semwaga receiving the Best Speaker award, Nikitah Isabella winning the 3rd best speaker award, and Sylvie Mahoro Wairimu took home the best country speaker award.

Read the full articles in the Rwanda New Times, The Independant, and New Vision

You can also read one of our GGAST reporters share her experience.

By Gashora student, Kamanda Ange

The Standards Olympiad is an annual competition for middle school and high school students organized by The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) together with Korean Standards Association (KAS). The competition is the world's first academic Olympiad focusing on standardization and aims to raise young people's awareness of standards through a series of different activities. Seven countries from different continents participated in the competition including Japan Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru and South Korea.

There were 36 Korean teams and 9 international teams from middle school division and high school division that passed the preliminary round. Rwanda was represented by KAMANDA Ange Pascale (me) from Gashora Girls Academy Science and technology, NTWALI Ivan Valery from Petit Seminaire de Rwesero and MUHIRE Beni from Nu-Vision High School who were selected through national competition organized by Rwanda Standards Board (RSB).

The competition started at 9:00 am, and all teams were given same task of lighting (3) rooms of your choice in a house with a simple technology in such a way the light intensity can be adjusted to the room occupant's needs, from low, dim to bright light.(the task given to middle school students was different). Materials were provided to us and we had to come up with an innovative idea of how to use the provided materials and achieve results.

The 1st round was to solve the project task assigned, and on the second round, we had to submit a portfolio and make an oral presentation of the standardization output. It wasn't easy for us because it was our first time to see some of the materials. Nevertheless, we managed to win the silver medal of out of four prizes: Grand Prix, Gold medal, Silver medal and Bronze medal.

The international standards Olympiad was not only a competition but also a potter that shaped my mind to really understand a standardized Rwanda we are creating. This bring me to the products our industries are producing, the services provided, and education we are getting. Industries, companies, and institutions in Rwanda should be able to meet high standards to be able to compete internationally.
Special thanks to the GGAST administration, RSB, teacher Osbert, and teacher Bosco for their support including my science fair teammate Uwase Belyse and Keza Audrey.

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Educating Girls Changes Everything, Part V

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